Is New York City's police force hassling the Big Apple? According to the NY Post, a street performer—Steven Mercier—who dresses up as a Big Apple has filed a civil lawsuit saying the cops have unfairly hassled him... and unfairly favor the Naked Cowboy! The court papers state that, "When [Mercier] was harassed by police officers for his street performance as the 'Big Apple' in Times Square and asked why the Naked Cowboy was never harassed, an officer told him that the mayor said the Naked Cowboy is popular, even iconic, and for that reason was never to be bothered." Maybe the Bloomberg is just worried that the Naked Cowboy will steal his position as Mayor if he loses his day job!

Mercier says that in 2006 he was even forced to remove his costume in public and "in front of many children," causing him "embarrassment." At the time he claims he even had a valid vending license.

The suit—which also blames the NYPD for having "inadequate training"—seeks unspecified damages and a court order barring The Man from enforcing vending regulations against him. After all, what's more iconic in New York City than the Big Apple?